The Steelers won their 2017 opener on Sunday, but Steelers Nation is less than satisfied. All of this discourse about a win has my Black-and-gold mind swirling in crazy directions and I'm passing the ravings onto you.
But first let's review the repulsion that I reaped upon you last week. So for those who I offended last week, I open up a suitcase of sorries for you to rummage through to and for the following...
- Siding with Stephen A. Smith on anything
- Painting the picture of anybody smuggling heroine through a Bangkok airport with it duct-taped to their thigh. A balloon in the buckeye is more standard these days for drug mules.
- Alleging that Pauline Walnuts did the most whackings on The Sopranos. If I'm not mistaken, Tony Soprano and Silvio Dante had a higher killing quota.
- Failing to mention the spectacular goaltending of Goldberg in The Mighty Ducks.
- Lying about being cool in 1978.
- Scoop Gillespie
- For only mentioning Brian Setzer and omitting the Stray Cats Slim Jim Phantom and Lee Rocker
And now, welcome to this week's Random thoughts from a Black-and-gold mind:
- ESPN has ranked the Steelers No. 1 in their power rankings for Week 2. That's equal to bring named Most likely to succeed in your high school yearbook. But sometimes those superlatives are off a tad. Tom Cruise was listed in his annual as Least likely to succeed. I bet those student editors received wedgies galore. But I digress. The narrow win over the Browns doesn't quell my confidence that Pittsburgh will go very far in 2017, but top of the heap? I'm as surprised as Oprah was when that nut-job leapt on her couch in 2003.
- Does Adam Schefter care if he's right or wrong...or merely that he's first to report something. To be fair Schefter covered himself using the words "the Steelers fear Stephon Tuitt is lost for the season", but that kind of info set off panic to an already nervous fan base. It's obvious that the team feared that, but it came across that No. 91 was lost for the season. Not everything needs to be posted.
- Poor Steven Johnson. Does Kevin Colbert call up Mike Tomlin and say, "Hey Mike, it's me Kev. I'm bored...let's screw with Steve Johnson"? On 9/2, the Steelers cut the former Bronco. On 9/4, the team resigned him and released him five days later, only to resign him again in three more days on 9/12. You know he's not going to stick and stay from here-on-out. If I were Johnson, I'd just get a sleeping bag and set up shop at the team facility. He might set a record for being caught and released in a month. Note to the Steelers...this isn't the Bassmasters Classic.
- When Steve Miller wrote "Take the Money and Run" back in 1976, he for sure did not look into a crystal ball and see Antonio Brown after he signed his mammoth contract extension in 2017. Sure AB took the money, but his only running is after the catch. He's not going to duplicate 11 grabs and 182 yards every week, but if he did...he'd amass 176 catches and 2,912 yards.
- Even if No. 84 reached those ridiculous numbers, the NFL still probably wouldn't award him as the league's MVP. A defensive tackle (Alan Page in 1971), a placekicker (Mark Mosley in 1982) and a linebacker (Lawrence Taylor in 1986) have all won the award. But never a receiver. Jerry Rice?...Nope. Randy Moss?...Never. Marvin Harrison...Negative. If you count the Oscars, Cuba Gooding Jr. (1996) has won more MVPs at WR than those guys combined.
- Brown and the Vikings Adam Thielen (157 yards) are number one and two respectively among the league's wide receivers after one week.
- Four of the Top 18 players taken in the 2010 NFL draft (and three of the Top 10) will be in action on Sunday in Pittsburgh. Minnesota QB Sam Bradford (No. 1 to St. Louis), CB Joe Haden (No. 7 to Cleveland), DL Tyson Alualu (No. 10 to Jacksonville) and C Maurkice Pouncey (No. 18 to Pittsburgh) will compete. The Vikings did not have a pick in the first 32 that year after trading out of the first round.
- It is my opinion that Le'Veon Bell will be fine going forward. He looks like the rust was almost completely shaken off in the fourth quarter of the opener against Cleveland. But will Bell be used to his fullest potential? The Steelers plan on using more four receiver sets and that may be more time without No. 26 on the field. I still don't think that all has been forgotten and a part of me thinks that Bell was being punished. Bell is saying all the right things about being a team player right now, but you can bet $17M that the running back will be rapping a different tune in the off season.
- There are a few things that you can count on when the subject is Mike Tomlin. He loves cliches. He doesn't believe in tucking his emotions or his cross in his shirt and he's yet to have a losing season. But count on this, he will get more than annoyed if he's asked about Le'Veon Bell missing training camp again. It was quite a scene that left me feeling conflicted. It's like when a female doctor asked my 16-year old self to turn my head and cough back in 1988. I didn't know if I should giggle or feel really uncomfortable. I chose the latter.
- Dont get your Terrible Towels in a bunch over Sunday's close score, the Steelers will be fine. In fact, I think offensive numbers around the league will go up considerably from Week One to Week Two. The preseason has changed so much that most teams are not playing there stars in the preseason and that hurts cohesiveness and continuity once the regular season starts. It's a double-edged sword though, a star could be lost for the year. Week one equates to a fifth preseason game and the Steelers could explode on Sunday.
- By the way, the Browns aren't as bad as you think.
- I wonder what Verron Haynes is doing these days.
Until next week, whether last week has you nervous or not...think about John Popper's brilliant lyrics from The Blues Traveler's 1995 hit "Run-around".
Tra la la la la bombardier this is the pilot speaking
And I've got some news for you
It seems my ship still stands no matter what you drop
And there ain't a whole lot that you can do
Oh sure the banner may be torn and the wind's gotten colder
Perhaps I've grown a little cynical
But I know no matter what the waitress brings
I shall drink it and always be full
Yeah, I will drink it and always be full
Take that for what it's worth and Go Steelers.